Once again we have legislation to stop changing the clocks twice a year, which is a good idea from my viewpoint, but all of this seems to be wanting to freeze the time zones in DAYLIGHT SAVINGS time. Why not standard time? I’m assuming there is some sort of motive there, but what?
I’d favor standard time because it seems to be more in conformity with “local time” with (very roughly, depending where you are in the time zone) and equal amount of daylight on either side of noon. Also, for a slightly selfish reason, because my current job has me keep early hours it would mean I’d be driving to work in the daylight at least sometimes but hey, I get that that one is a person reason.
Part of the rationale for this change is to reduce traffic accidents. I would suspect that having both morning and evening commutes in daylight would be safer, which would negate that. So I’m wondering if there is some other reason because I’m not entirely convinced that law-makers care about the commutes of common people.
In particular, some politicians seems to be pushing “freeze in DST” so I’m wondering what the motivation is here. Is it advantageous to political donors? If so, how so?
Or, if there is some scientific basis for asserting that having morning commutes in darkness and more time at the end of the day with daylight contributes to traffic safety I’m open to learning about it.
I mean, you asked for the reason and I gave it - it’s because there are considerations other than traffic safety. People generally like light in the early evening, and value that over light for the morning commute.
If you want to advocate a view that traffic safety concerns are the only important consideration, maybe this is for IMHO?
But to the extent this is to remain factual, 12pm is also not the middle of the typical working day. That’s 1pm.
I guess the younger among us do not remember or were not alive when they tried year round DST during the “Energy Crisis” in the 70’s. It sucked in winter. I hated walking to the school bus stop in the dark and there were many incidents of kids being injured/killed as a result. If they do this stupid thing, watch the howling when kids start getting killed again.
I’d even like a cite for more kids going to school in the dark during DST - the sunrise here yesterday was at 7:12 am EDT. On Jan 7, it was 7:19 am EST. There are not going to be loads of kids walking to the bus stop in the dark at 7:12 in March who were not doing the same at 7:19 in January.
Originally, a big reason was that parents didn’t want their kids walking to school in the dark. That was a political hot potato because, were a politician to dismiss that concern and have that followed by some child being kidnapped or run over on the way to school in the dark, it would be a political death sentence for said politician. Fast forward to the present, and we see that very few children actually walk to school these days, so it is almost a non-issue.
Let’s be honest, which is more useful and pleasurable, an extra hour of sunlight in the morning when many people are still asleep or the ones awake are driving to work, or an extra hour of sunlight in the evening where people can be outside doing any number of different recreational activities?
Factually speaking, the experience of winter vs. summer amounts of daylight and of DST vs non-DST clock settings varies greatly depending on whether you live at the north or south end of the country and whether you live at the east or west edge of any given time zone. And which time zone, since they are not all of the size and location they ought to be to ideally track with the Sun’s motion. There’s a lot of historical politics embedded in where we have drawn the time zone boundaries.
Unrelated to the above the population and hence the political power is not uniformly distributed across all 16 corners of the 4 US mainland time zones.
Factually again, the farther west you are within a single time zone, the earlier the clock is compared to the Sun. And the farther east in that same time zone, the later the clock is compared to the Sun. And of course down south there’s plenty of sun-up time all year round, whereas up north there simply isn’t enough sun-up time to go around no matter how/when you distribute it versus the clock.
Therefore, the biggest beneficiaries of DST all year are folks who live in the northeast part of their time zone. They are the ones with room to spare in the winter to move the clocks later (and hence sunrise apparently earlier) without it getting too, too wacky- early. And who also have so little daylight in winter that putting it in the most beneficial time of the work / school / recreational day has the greatest payoff.
Those northeasternmost parts of the four time zones correspond to the highly populous urbanized Northeast from, say, Philadelphia up through Boston plus greater Chicago.
The likely political result from all these facts should be clear enough.
Missouri apparently toyed with the idea of year-round DST but the effort stalled in the Senate. This Missourian is glad. I’d be thrilled to be on the same time year-round, but I’d prefer it be the “natural” (for lack of a better choice of words) time.
The simple truth, indisputable as I see it, is that 1) stopping all this silly semi-annual messing with our clocks and disrupting our lives makes eminent sense for most people, and 2) a large minority of the public will want the other (DST/non-DST) whichever one is chosen, for sound philosophical or personal reasons, and we will never convince these unhappy people that the right choice has been made.
Nonetheless, since choosing to end the clock-switching is a wise choice, endorsed by the majority of people, we need to do it, and to accept that millions of people will be unhappy with the choice we’ve made. All we can do is try to see that we choose the option that pleases the majority of people, and DO IT ALREADY.
It seems to me that you would need to ask the question correctly. You can’t just ask “do you think that ending the clock shift is a good idea”, because people would answer that based on their preferred assumption of what would replace it. You really need to poll on a ranking of the three choices - status quo, summer time all year, winter time all year.
But the clock switching is a superior compromise than stabilizing on either year round DST or year-round non-DST. Clock switching delivers more good to more people over more of the whole year. At the trivial and already-accustomed annoyance for about 3 hours of mild confusion twice a year.
People love to gripe about how horrid the changeover is. For a vast supply of the populace, it’s a simple non-event that buys them a much better daily experience for the upcoming ~6 months than they would otherwise have absent the change.
What is stupid is for us Dopers, and society, and all our politicians, to have this sterile debate twice each and every year.
I will not argue that the currently chosen dates or currently chosen time zone boundaries are in any sense optimal. I will argue that they’re close enough and familiar enough that although they could be improved, the time to payback on even a logically well-chosen change will be years and might well be decades.
@Reimann. Exactly. And we should also poll at 4 times per year. Just before/after the DST changes, and at the midpoints between them. So ask people in midsummer: would you prefer your clocks be one hour earlier right now today? And ask people in midwinter: would you prefer your clocks be one hour later right now today?
Armed with all 4 sample results we could start to get a consensus on people’s true opinions. And ref my earlier post there’s a darn good bet that which option is most popular and how much more popular it is will vary wildly depending on where you live.
That’s not a scenario that makes a good nationwide standard decision. Perhaps we should make clock setting a county-by-county decision.
Agreed, and this this why standard time should be made permanent.
In the long run, it won’t make a bit of difference whether we are on permanent standard or daylight time, because schools and businesses occassionally revise their hours of operation. But to make the transition stick, you need standard time.